I was hit by a car while crossing the street. Do I have a case?
New York motorists are legally obligated to operate their motor vehicles in a reasonably safe manner given the circumstances. A natural consequence of this legal obligation is a duty to drive safely and avoid collisions with pedestrians on and around the roadways.
It goes without saying: motor vehicle collisions, which send the shock of impact through the frame of the vehicle and into the bodies of occupants, can be devastating, resulting in life-changing injuries. The potential harm can be even greater when a pedestrian is struck directly by a vehicle. While motor vehicles contain seat belt restraint and air bag systems that can blunt the force of impact, the body of a pedestrian is openly exposed to direct injury.
If you were struck by a motor vehicle and sustained serious personal injuries, you are likely entitled to compensation. At William Mattar law, our pedestrian accident attorneys fight for injury victims to get them the compensation they deserve. Call (844) 444-4444 to speak to an attorney today about your case or fill out our free initial consultation form online to get started on your claim.
Pedestrians’ rights and duties
New York pedestrians are entitled to certain rights, and owe certain “duties,” or legal responsibilities to others. Many of these rights and duties are contained in Article 27 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. That Article includes seven sections, and it is a good starting point when assessing whether a pedestrian had the right of way at the time of a collision.
For example, Section 1151(a) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law provides that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks under certain circumstances. In particular, it states: “When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.”
While a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk will generally have the right of way, Section 1151(b) provides that: “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.” In other words, a pedestrian may not have the right of way if he or she runs into the road in front of an oncoming vehicle without giving that motorist time to stop or brake.
Pedestrians and Sidewalks
When it comes to pedestrians on sidewalks, Section 1151-a provides that the driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alleyway, building, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk extending across such alleyway, building entrance, road, or driveway.
The provisions provided for pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks are just a few examples of the rights and duties included in Article 27 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. If you are an injured pedestrian, a pedestrian accident lawyer can review the facts of your case to see if any of these rights and duties apply to you.
Duty to exercise due care
Even if the rights in Article 27 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law did not provide you with the right of way at the time of the collision, the driver can still be found responsible. Section 1146(a) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires all driver to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any . . . pedestrian.” Essentially, drivers are expected to be cautious on the road to avoid striking a pedestrian.
If you were struck while walking in a parking lot or even on a roadway, the driver may have violated this provision, providing a basis for liability. Even if the driver did not violate this provision, that driver has a duty to see pay attention to the road and environment, and to exercise caution to avoid a potential collision.
You can contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about due care, as well as your rights as a pedestrian.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney
The pedestrian accident lawyers at William Mattar Law Offices have experience representing pedestrians after motor vehicle collisions. If you sustained serious injuries after a pedestrian-strike incident and need legal representation, give us a call. We can investigate your case to see if you have a claim and get you maximum compensation. Don’t wait— call (844) 444-4444 today.